• Final Day Recap as the Transfer Window Closes
    By the time you read this, the European transfer window will be closed in just about every significant league in Europe except England and Portugal. Normally, the transfer window closes for everyone on Aug. 31, but in the UK, Monday is a bank holiday, so Premier League teams have been granted an extra working day to get their business done. However, the UK window will shut at 6 PM local time on Tuesday, instead of midnight, because Sept. 1 is also the deadline for teams participating in the UEFA Champions League to submit their squads. In Portugal, the transfer window ...
  • Must See TV: Roma-Juve Pressure Cooker
    Though Italy's Serie A has lost some of its luster-not to mention a UEFA Champions League place-in recent years, Juventus versus AS Roma still qualifies as Europe's marquee clash of the weekend. Here are two teams that finished first and second in each of the last two seasons and meetings between them, though dominated in recent times by Juve, have always been tense, to say the least. Juve, winner of four consecutive Scudetti, has won three of its last four league encounters against the Italian capital club, but Sunday's clash at the Stadio Olimpico represents Roma's best chance in years ...
  • UCL Draw: New Scheme, Similar Result
    Prior to Thursday's UEFA Champions League group stage draw, several of Europe's biggest clubs were sweating about the introduction of new seeding rules this season. Instead of seeding teams based on their UEFA coefficient ranking or prior performance in the tournament, UEFA this season guaranteed the champions of Europe's top seven leagues and the winner of last season's UCL an automatic seed-to the chagrin of the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Arsenal. However, in the end, the draw yielded eight groups that more or less look like a UCL group stage from any prior season, with two or ...
  • Is EPL Transfer Spending Really That Crazy?
    The transfer window in England remains open for just six more days, but if reports across the continent are to be believed, there is much business to be done before the window closes. There are some crazy figures being thrown around, too. Late Wednesday, the Guardian reported that Manchester City has agreed a 58 million-pound ($83.5 million) fee for Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, taking the Citizens' total spending this summer to a monstrous 162 million-pounds ($250.5 million). Not to be outdone, Chelsea is reportedly hot on the heels of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba as well as Everton center-back John ...
  • Forget Neymar, Man United Should Bring Back Ronaldo
    If you've been following European transfer news, then you might be familiar with Manchester United's recent interest in Barcelona forward Neymar. According to a report that originated in UK tabloid The Sun, United is prepared to pay a world-record 240 million-pounds ($376.6 million) for the Brazilian, who the report claims could be interested in the move so he no longer has to play second-fiddle to Lionel Messi. Or something.View image | gettyimages.com
  • The Sepp Blatter Interview: Still Drinking the FIFA Kool-Aid
    The BBC on Monday published an interview between outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and correspondent Richard Conway, in which the latter asks Blatter to talk about the ongoing FIFA scandal, which includes separate investigations in the USA and Switzerland into widespread corruption at the organization, as well as a second Swiss-lead investigation into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar. The BBC reporter also asks Blatter to touch on the controversial bidding process for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa now that disgraced former FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer, who is ...
  • Serie A Return: Everything Old is New Again
    Serie A, the last of Europe's big five leagues to open play this weekend, could offer up a few surprises this season, as many of its biggest clubs have overhauled their squads. While the likes of Lazio, last-season's surprise third-place finisher, Fiorentina and Napoli have mostly bought new squad players, defending champ Juventus, which aims for a record-setting fifth consecutive Scudetto this season, UEFA Champions League-bound AS Roma, and one-time Serie A giants AC Milan and Inter Milan have seen significant first-team turnover this summer.
  • La Liga: Barca Repeat Not a Given
    La Liga makes its long-awaited return on Friday with an intriguing season opener between Malaga and Sevilla. To be sure, Malaga, though no longer the team it once was under now-Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini, is always tough to beat at home, though Unai Emery's men will certainly want the three points, as the Andalucian club's home opener the following weekend is against Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.
  • Why Zelalem Shouldn't Join Rangers
    If you're an American that follows soccer, then you've probably heard of Gedion Zelalem, the 19-year-old German/Ethiopian/American signed by English Premier League giant Arsenal two years ago, who decided to play for the USA at international level shortly after attaining U.S. citizenship earlier this year. In any event, the big news surrounding the USA and Arsenal youngster is that former Scottish great Rangers is interested in taking him on loan for the season. In fact, according to reports on Wednesday, he is very close to agreeing to a deal, although it's unclear still whether it would be for a full ...
  • Mourinho's Antic Disposition: Is His Madness Real?
    Let's be honest, the beginning of Chelsea's title defense couldn't have gone much worse. After just two games, last season's Premier League champ is 16th in the standings with one point, having already conceded five goals. For those who like statistics, Jose Mourinho's team has already conceded 16 percent of its total goal-allowance from last season, and there's still 95 percent of the season left to play. And while that might not mean much this early in the season, it's not as if Chelsea has offered very much going forward, either, as the Blues look predictably narrow and slow in ...
  • Man United's De Gea Quagmire
    Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is heading to Real Madrid, the only question is when and for how much-and, to a certain extent, who the money goes to. The Daily Mirror on Monday reported a new twist in the summer's longest-running transfer saga, claiming that Real is now prepared to offer United's goalkeeper a signing bonus of 12 million pounds, or $18.7 million, if he waits to sign for Madrid until next summer, after his current contract at Old Trafford expires. If that happens, United would miss out on receiving any compensation for one of the world's very best ...
  • The Bundesliga is Back!
    Germany's Bundesliga, one of Europe's big five, returns Friday with the season opener between perennial champ Bayern Munich hosting serial relegation escapee Hamburg SV. With these adjectives in mind, it follows, then, that few are predicting anything but a comfortable Bayern win to start the season. In fact, few are predicting anything other than a fourth consecutive title for coach Pep Guardiola's team: not only did the Bavarian club win the league again last season with relative ease, it has brought in some high-profile new blood in the shape of former Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and former Shakhtar Donetsk forward ...
  • Mourinho vs. Carneiro: Smoke and Mirrors?
    As you've probably heard, there has been quite a kerfuffle surrounding Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro these last few days. It all started with the post-game comments following the Blues' 2-2 draw with Swansea on Sunday when coach Jose Mourinho-apropos of nothing, mind you-declared that he was unhappy with his medical staff, which is overseen by Carneiro, for entering the field of play and attending to midfielder Eden Hazard following a clash with Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson.
  • Did the FIGC Go Easy on Catania and its Former President?
    As we've reported before, there's another match-fixing scandal going on in Italy right now, and it involves a pretty high profile team, too: Catania Calcio. As it turns out, Catania President Antonio Pulvirenti engineered-or at least, attempted to engineer- the club's eventual escape by paying certain key players to under-perform against the relegation-threatened club in its final matches. Pulvirenti has now pled guilty to doing this, and according to reports, he paid over 100,000 euros ($110,000) per game to fix these matches. So far, no players have been implicated in the scandal, which has been dubbed "Goal Trains."
  • Soccer and TV Rights: a Burgeoning Anachronism
    Off The Post missed this weekend's Italian Super Cup clash between Juventus and Lazio. You probably did, too, because, apparently, the game was only televised in the USA on RAI International, which is not part of OTP's cable network package. If it is part of yours, you might have seen Juve beat the Romans 2-0 thanks to two quick-fire second half goals from newcomers Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala. It's too bad, really, because given Juve's usual dominance of the Italian Serie A, cup games are just about all OTP watches in Italy. He's also not the only one that's ...